It’s August 2011 and Nicolás Orellana (Welcu CEO) is pitching ‘the best way to manage high-end, unique events‘ at 500 Startups Demo Day (check the pitch at the end of this post).
He ends the presentation saying they are looking for a US $600,000 seed round.
Now, 7 months later, they have successfully raised those funds and just announced their expansion in Latin America.
Welcu has been working with over 200 customers in the last year, including Google, DHL, Xerox, BHP Biliton, Volvo, Sony, among many others and have successfully raised over US$600,000. After strengthening their presence in the event-management industry in Chile, this week they’ve opened their offices in Argentina and Colombia.
Welcu was the first Latin America startup that received an investment from Eric Schmidt’s fund (ex Google CEO) Tomorrow Ventures.
“We have a product that has already been tested in Chile, that does and achieves what it says, and we couldn’t let go the opportunity to keep growing and be the first ones in Colombia, Argentina and as soon as possible in Brazil”
— says Nicolás Orellana and Sebastián Gamboa (co-founders of Welcu)
The arrival in Buenos Aires is a strategical move to support a wide range of events — corporative, cultural, night-shows, international conferences — that are scheduled for each week.
“It’s a business that requires constant work, and Welcu is more than just a way to forget about paper invitations and Excel spreadsheets, it’s a technology that allows us to measure the performance of all the efforts involved in organizing an event” explains Magdalena Day, Country Manager of Welcu Argentina.
And Colombia is becoming a stronger market:
“Welcu is the perfect service for brand managers, because agencies always send a general report but doesn’t provide guest details, and they always forget about invitations experience“, tells Juan Carlos Delgado, Country Manager of Welcu Colombia.
Welcu plans doesn’t stop in Argentina and Colombia, they’re currently working out the details to launch in Sao Paulo, where Welcu is going to receive local investors support.
Welcu is a 1 year old startup which early investors were Oskar Hjertonsson (CEO and Groupon LatAm co-founder) and Daniel Undurraga (Groupon Latam co-founder).
500 Startups Demo Day: Welcu pitch
In 2011, Welcu joined the second batch of 500 startups. After two months of work, Demo Day finally arrived.
Check Nico’s pitch at 500 Startups Demo Day (August, 2011):
We have been organizing events for the last 4 years and we’ve been organizing the biggest tech conferences for entrepreneurs in Latin America (2,000 people). We’ve discover that the biggest pain for event planners is working with multiple tools. It’s not very efficient nor effective.
When event planners are planning an event they need to work and deal with free tickets, ticket sales and networking sites.
We’ve been working in our private beta with more than 80 brands over the last few months. They understand the problem and they pay for it.
Brands like Coca-Cola, Xerox, Sony Ericsson, etc
More than 15,000 people have validated that our platform works. We’ve generated more than US$30,000 in revenues just in the last 4-5 months.
We have a great group of Advisors & Investors: Dave McClure, Eric Schmidt’s Tomorrow Ventures and 5 executives from Groupon: including the Vice-President, the Managing Director and the CFO of the company in Latin America.
Welcu is a end-to-end self-service solution for event planners to manage their entire event process. From Guests management, Invitations & RSVP’s and Networking Sites.
Let me give you an example of a real customer using our platform:
An event for 1,200 people that uses our platform (like a few weeks ago) and they have approximately 10 sponsors.
The first problem that they faced was managing their guests. They have 10 sponsors and every one of them have more than a hundred guests to invite. So with Welcu, our customers just share a public link with them, and they were able to invite their guests by themselves. No emails to event-planners, no overload emails requiring invites in your inbox.
And then, they design beautiful invitations, WYSWYG interface, tracked real-time data about everything during the process, and finally, they setup a networking site in two seconds for their guests, allowing them to connect before, during and after the event.
And at the end, our customer said “We saved a lot of time and money, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Welcu to others”. They saved 30% in time and 10% of money using our platform.
Our vision is big: “we want to be the final destination for event planners“. We want to integrate with multiple platforms. Last week, we integrated with Eventbrite, and we’re going to integrate during the next weeks with airplane tickets, booking of hotels, and others.
We have done a lot of things in the last 7 months. We moved to Silicon Valley, we got into 500 [Startups] and last month we hit US$10,000 in revenues monthly.
We’re looking for a US$600,000 seed round. We’re the best way to manage high-end, unique events and we’re going to disrupt the event-management industry. If you want to talk with me about that, please contact me after the show.